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St. John's Worship Service - January 21, 2024
Pastor Wende Bleam
Pastor Wende Bleam
Sunday, January 21, 2024
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As we continue through the time after Epiphany, stories of the call to discipleship show us the implications of our baptismal calling to show Christ to the world. Jesus begins proclaiming the good news and calling people to repentance right after John the Baptist is arrested for preaching in a similar way. Knowing that John was later executed, we see at the very outset the cost of discipleship. Still, the two sets of brothers leave everything they have known and worked for all their lives to follow Jesus and fish for people.


PRELUDE        For Where Love Is, There Is God    (Wagner)


Blessed be the holy Trinity,  one God, creator of darkness and light,
word of truth, wind sweeping over the waters. Amen.

Let us confess our sin in the presence of God and of one another.

God, our rock and refuge,
we pour out our hearts before you. We have known you but have not always loved you. We have wounded one another and sinned against you. We have not always recognized the Holy Spirit dwelling in each of us. Remember your covenant. Renew your creation. Restore us, that we might proclaim your good news to all. Amen.

The voice of the Lord is upon the waters. God has spoken: The time of grace is now. In Jesus, the reign of God has come near. By the authority of  Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. You are God’s beloved. Amen.

Let us pray. 
Almighty God, by grace alone you call us and accept us in your service. Strengthen us by your Spirit, and make us worthy of your call, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

* GATHERING SONG   Come, Beloved of the Maker (ELW 306)

FIRST READING: Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time, saying, 2“Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 3So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. 4Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.
10When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

PSALM: Psalm 62:5-12
5For God alone I | wait in silence;
truly, my hope | is in God.
6God alone is my rock and | my salvation,
my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.
7In God is my deliverance | and my honor;
God is my strong rock | and my refuge.
8Put your trust in God always, O people,
pour out your hearts before the one who | is our refuge. 
9Those of high degree are but a fleeting breath; those of low estate can- | not be trusted.
Placed on the scales together they weigh even less | than a breath.
10Put no trust in extortion; in robbery take no | empty pride;
though wealth increase, set not your | heart upon it.
11God has spoken once, twice | have I heard it,
that power belongs to God.
12Steadfast love belongs to | you, O Lord,
for you repay all according | to their deeds. 

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
29Brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, 30and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, 31and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

GOSPEL: Mark 1:14-20
The holy gospel according to Mark. Glory to you, O Lord.
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.

The gospel of the Lord.  Praise to you, O Christ.

MEDITATION                            Pastor Wende Bleam

* HYMN OF THE DAY How Clear Is Our Vocation, Lord (ELW 580)

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.* On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Please place your offering in the plate near the Sanctuary door any time during or following worship. Your offering and tithes may be made on line through our  website:  or sent by mail to
St. John’s Lutheran church, 1500 Glen Avenue, Folcroft, PA 19032.


God our provider, by your merciful hand abundance springs up from the earth. Receive and bless these gifts of your own bounty. Let them be a sign of your steadfast love and faithfulness for all people, through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.


As we celebrate Christ embodied in human form, we pray for God’s blessing on the church, the world, and all of creation.

God our rock and deliverance, do not let your church be shaken. We trust you never abandon your promises to the most vulnerable among us. Give your church wisdom and empathy in its varied ministries. God of grace,
receive our prayer.

God our hope and refuge, you placed the fish in the sea. Guide our care of oceans and all creatures that live in them. Hold us accountable for actions that endanger water sources and the people who depend on them. God of grace, receive our prayer.

God who proclaims judgement and offers mercy, be a model to the leaders of our nation and the world. As they lead, may they follow in your way of justice and truth. God of grace, receive our prayer.

Lord, we pray for the people of Israel and Palestine, for those the Gaza Strip who are suffering the ravages of war  We also pray for the Ukrainian people that they be surrounded by your love and protection against the attacks on their country.  Lift them up, and protect, them, end this war against them and let your peace reign.  Merciful God, receive our prayer.

God who cares for the suffering, care for survivors of assault and sexual abuse and sustain all who minister to them. Keep safe any who live under threat of violence, those living in poverty, and any among us who are ill or in pain. We pray especially for the family of Connie Captis, Krystal, Alexandra, Jim, Robin, Dan, Sue, Jennifer, Ray, Ashton, Justin, Lois, Kathy and Rich McLaughlin, Carol, Connor, Ana, Helen, Jose, Hoon, Pat, Hazel, Deb, Joe, Ruth, Lisa, Rick, Dick, Alisia, Jacklyn, Lillian, Alexis, Jim and those we now raise before you in our hearts.  We pray for those affected by the Covid virus in mind, body or spirit.  Grant them healing and wholeness.  God of grace, receive our prayer

God of resurrection and new life, as the first disciples shared the good news, empower us and this faith community to be open to your call. When we are uncertain of your call, assure us. When we have strayed from your ways, redirect us. God of grace, receive our prayer.

God who holds the saints against your tender bosom, we trust you welcome them into your care. Comfort those who grieve, even as we place our hope in your salvation. God of grace, receive our prayer.

Knowing the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, we offer these prayers and the silent prayers of our hearts in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Gathered into one by the Holy Spirit, let us pray as Jesus taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
   hallowed be thy name,
   thy kingdom come,
   thy will be done,
       on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
   as we forgive those
       who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
   but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
   and the power, and the glory,
   forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord be with you.  And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.  We lift the to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.  
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy,
that we should at all times and in all places 
give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God,
through our Savior Jesus Christ. 
By the leading of a star he was shown forth to all nations;
in the waters of the Jordan you proclaimed him your beloved Son; 
and in the miracle of water turned to wine 
he revealed your glory. And so, with all the choirs of angels, 
with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven, 
we praise your name and join their unending hymn:


In the night in which he was betrayed,
our Lord Jesus took bread, and gave thanks;
broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take and eat; this is my body, given for you.
Do this for the remembrance of me.

Again, after supper, he took the cup, gave thanks,
and gave it for all to drink, saying:
This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this for the remembrance of me.


In this meal, righteousness and peace meet together.
Come, take your place at the table.


CONGREGATIONAL SONG I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light 
(ELW 815)

Giver of every gift, Christ’s body is our food, and we are Christ’s body.
Raise us to life by your power for the benefit of all and to your glory,
now and forever.

God who names you, Christ who claims you, and the Holy Spirit who dwells in you,  bless you and remain with you always.

* SENDING SONG The Son of God, Our Christ (ELW 584)

DISMISSAL - Go in peace. You are God’s beloved. Thanks be to God.

POSTLUDE:      In Thee Is Gladness    (Schultz)

You are welcome to watch the live service at 10:15 am at
Or you can watch live streaming on the St. John's website:
If you are having trouble accessing, please let us know.

The ETERNAL CANDLE is sponsored for the month of January by the Current fund of St. John's.

There is a CONGREGATIONAL MEETING scheduled for SUNDAY, JANUARY 28.  At this meeting, we will look at the happenings and finances of the past year.

YOU CAN HELP!  You can be a good steward AND get your grocery shopping done.  Did you know that if you purchase a grocery food gift card from St. John’s, our congregation will receive 5% of all sales of gift cards.  Please see Ruth Weaver if you wish to purchase and gift cards.  Thank you for helping us raise that 5% for helping to continue our ministry. 

Each week, we collect food for our hungry neighbors in need in our SHARING GOD'S BOUNTY WAGON.  Hunger doesn’t take a vacation.  Please consider making a donation of a food item each week. If you are in need of food, please notify Pastor Wende and she will let you know what we have available.

The Social Ministry Committee would love to hear from you if you have any ideas for small fundraising and/or social ministry events that we could pull off with minimal effort. Challenge us with your ideas!!

With our church building getting older, we need everyone’s eyes and ears to help keep her in good repair. If you see any problems like a burnt out light bulb, please let Barb or Bud know or drop a note in the offering plate on Sunday. We need to get a jump on current or upcoming problems.

Our Financial Response  (December)   

Budgeted costs per month                     $   8,510.68
Offering last month                         $   6,935..29

Budget required to date (12 months)             $ 102,128.16
Total received to date                         $  71,104.77

Budget required to date (12 months)             $   4,800.00
Total received to date                         $   4,799.32

Please continue to support St. John's.  Our expenses continue each month even if we are not all worshipping together inside our building.

Your offering and tithes may be made on line through our  website:  or sent by mail to
St. John’s Lutheran church, 1500 Glen Avenue, Folcroft, PA 19032.